musings

Musings of a Wordsmith: The Power of Words

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Of all the quotes I’ve ever read, that has to be the most shortsighted. It is apparent that whoever uttered those words must never have heard the worst words. Consider this contrasting quote, “A tongue has no bones but can break a heart.” The latter quote paints a poignant picture about the true power of words. 

Truth is, words are immensely potent in their ability to impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Children, especially, take the words we speak to the heart and, oftentimes, the nature of the words we choose to use toward or around them shapes their perceptions of self and the world around them, respectively. This is why positive reinforcement will always yield more desired results than negative reinforcement, regardless of the endeavor in question. 

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The words we use to tell our story can make or break that story and, more importantly, how people respond to that story. When we speak or write about ourselves, do we come across as cocky or confident, self-assured or egotistical, intelligent or condescending, straightforward or obnoxious? The answers depend on our word choice. The difference in others’ perception of us lies in our ability to effectively communicate who we are using the right words. It goes without saying that while using the right words are important, for us to be genuine or authentic, our actions must then align with our words. 

The importance of correct word choice transcends the quality of our interpersonal relationships. They extend to the realm of business—how our brand is perceived and received by our customers or target audience. A former mentor of mine often said to me, “Human beings are emotional creatures, so buying is an emotional decision.” Well, if buying is an emotional decision, then naturally, selling ought to have an emotional strategy. 

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In my view, the best marketers in the world understand this phenomenon, which is why there’s much ado about keywords when it comes to SEO and word triggers in ad campaigns. Content marketers must realize that, for the most part, customers choose brands because of how that brand makes them feel and not what the brand sells. Therefore, the most effective ads use emotive words that make the brand come across as authentic and invoke real, relatable emotions in the viewer. 

It is my long history as a wordsmith and deep understanding of the power of words and their importance in storytelling that I chose to make compelling brand storytelling the core mission of Enrich My Brand. Many creative agencies—some vastly bigger than ours—offer a range of industry-standard services when it comes to brand management, especially electing to focus on elegant design. While the aesthetics of your business are important in illustrating how professional your brand looks, the words that tell your story are arguably even more important because they communicate how your brand feels and what values it inspires in others. You could call it your brand personality.

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If seeing is believing, then hearing is confirming. I firmly believe that if we can become intimately familiar with our clients’ mission and target audience, if we can truly understand what motivates or influences their customers, then and only then can we tell the most compelling stories that will appeal to them by using the correct words that speak to their desires.

In closing, I humbly invite you to examine your marketing communications and evaluate how compelling your stories read to your target audience. Is your brand conveying its most authentic identity? Do your marketing campaigns make you come across as a solutions provider who wants to build a relationship with your customers so as to meet their needs? Or do you come across as just a basic seller of products or services for profit? Do your press releases communicate major news in a manner worth your shareholders or other stakeholders getting excited about? Do your blog articles position you as a subject matter expert in your industry? Do your email newsletters tell a story that is part of a bigger narrative of consistent progress? 

Friend, if you’re even so much as remotely uncertain about your answers to these questions, then please contact us ASAP and let us help you put your best foot forward. It would behoove you to have your story told by passion-driven wordsmiths who understand storytelling, and whose every word is carefully crafted with your brand and your target audience in mind. 

Yours truly,

Kenny, Chief Wordsmith

Musings of a Misunderstood Millennial

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Every time I hear people state so emphatically, "Millennials are such a lazy and entitled bunch," I literally pause and play back my academic and professional career to date in my head--from studying hard in high school to earn a much-needed partial scholarship to the University of Houston because I knew my fellow immigrant parents couldn't pay for my college education; to running for SGA President while in undergrad and struggling to balance those immense responsibilities of governing as a student and keeping my GPA from declining; to pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc while pursuing the former endeavor; to fulfilling 1,700 hours of community service in DC public schools as a tutor, mentor and role model for inner city schoolchildren immediately after graduation; to working an entry-level job for two years all the while pursuing network marketing business opportunities part-time to earn extra income and help fulfill my family's dreams of attaining that elusive American Dream; to publishing multiple books in pursuit of that same goal; to daring to travel to the ends of the earth to pursue a global MBA and develop myself professionally and personally--and honestly, I'm insulted and offended by the hasty generalization and presumptuous condescension of that insinuation about my generation.

My point is not to bare my resume on social media because I know many of my peers who've also achieved much in their own right and some who've achieved even much more than me in their relatively young tenure on earth while facing and overcoming adversity. My point is to iterate that everyone--regardless of their generation--experiences their fair share of hardships while navigating varying economic conditions and societal and cultural realities. So, it's grossly unfair to be labeled one way or another, or for your intelligence, capabilities, successes, and contributions to the world to be disparaged, belittled or disrespected simply because people hold you only to the standard of their own (generational) frame of reference.

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Ultimately, it takes a sincere attempt to understand the realities that shape frames of reference that differ from our own for us to cease and desist from fanning the flames of divisiveness with such prevalent myopic rhetoric as, "Millennials are (insert popular negative stereotype)." And that's precisely what I'd encourage members of the generations that have preceded us to do. In the same vein, as we millennials evolve, so, too will we have to challenge ourselves to acknowledge, understand and come to respect the different frame of reference the next generation will possess as they come of age so to speak. Remember, to be old is not necessarily to be wise, just as to be young is not necessarily to be dumb. 

In conclusion, Enrich My Brand is a digital marketing agency founded by a millennial, largely run by millennials, and with millennials as our primary target audience. We take great pride in this brand positioning because we recognize the sheer size, rapid growth rate, and increasing purchasing power of this demographic. We also recognize that while (relatively) young, our place in society and the opportunity before us to have a significant immediate impact on the world around us are legitimate. In my personal view, now more than ever, it is incumbent on millennials to step up like the generations before us and usher in a new wave of creativity and innovation so as to foster further societal growth and development in global business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and public policy. Godspeed, my friends.

Yours truly,

Kenny, Chief Wordsmith